Riyad Mahrez was among the goals as Les Fennecs held El Tri in Tuesday’s international friendly

Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria ended an impressive international break with a 2-2 draw against Mexico in The Hague on Tuesday, despite being a man down for much of the second half.

The contest was a rare meeting between Africa Cup of Nations holders and Concacaf Gold Cup holders, but ultimately neither continental representative was able to clinch bragging rights for their confederation.

Diego Lainez struck in the 86th minute for Mexico as they salvaged a draw, having initially taken the lead late in the first half through Jesus Corona.

Algeria responded to his 43rd-minute effort two minutes later, when Ismael Bennacer finished with a fine effort from the edge of the box.

Despite going a man down 10 minutes in the second half when Adlene Guedioura was shown a second booking for a high challenge on Raul Jimenez, Algeria took the lead in the 67th minute as Mahrez finished calmly after Ramy Bensebaini had reacted quickest to lax possession from Mexico, intercepting the play and feeding the Manchester City forward.

By this point, they could have been further ahead, with Baghdad Bounedjah missing a decent chance before his withdrawal, and Yacine Brahimi striking the woodwork.

After equalising through Lainez, meeting a delightful Jimenez pass in style, Mexico could have even gone on to clinch a winner, as both Hector Herrera and Jorge Sanchez struck the crossbar during a frenetic finale.

The draw, coupled with last week’s 1-0 victory over Nigeria, extends Algeria’s undefeated streak to 20 matches—the longest such run of any of Africa’s teams.

“It was similar to how we thought it’d be,” Mexico coach Tata Martinez said after the match, “intense, a lot back and forth at times; in different moments Algeria had [control] of the game, in other moments we had.

“It was a good game to make conclusions,” he added. “I thought off the basis of the game it was a fair result.

“I’m satisfied with this tour to Europe. I’m satisfied with what we’ve shown against the Netherlands and Algeria.”

Next month, Algeria will take on Zimbabwe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header, as they look to return to the continent’s grandest stage to defend the prize they won in 2019.

News Original Source

Leave a Reply